No porn allowed on $AU21,000 Microsoft Surface

No porn allowed on $AU21,000 Microsoft Surface


To hear Microsoft staff describe it the Surface — the tabletop multi-user touch-screen PC that’s just been officially released in Australia — is a veritable orgy of tactility.

“It’s touch but it’s touch at a completely new level” Microsoft entertainment and devices division president Robbie Bach said at the official Australian media launch. “This isn’t about technology it’s about making something completely natural. It takes people into a new realm.”

Microsoft developer evangelist Michael Kordahi went even further noting the device’s ability to interact with objects placed on it such as glasses or books: “These are the natural things you would do with a table.” Those were his actual words. “What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve seen on a Surface that’s PG?” Kordahi went on to ask one developer about the product.

Despite such suggestive language however you’ll get short shrift from Microsoft if you actually try to use the Surface for anything X-rated however “natural” that might feel. While there would obviously be potential applications for strip clubs or adult video arcades especially given the proclaimed “robustness” of the design Microsoft isn’t having a bar of it (so to speak).

Danny Beck senior enterprise product marketing manager for the Windows client group confirmed to APC that any Surface buyers have to sign a contract undertaking not to display certain kinds of content on the device in public. Nudity and sexual activity is prominent on that list.

The surface applications used in the Rio Casino in Las Vegas include some “flirting” applications but that’s about as far as a typical Surface client would be allowed to go Beck noted.

In this respect despite being based on Windows the Surface is much more like Microsoft’s Xbox console which imposes similar strict standards on developers.

At $21000 for the standard model or $24500 for the developer model the Surface isn’t cheap. (The equivalent US prices are $US12500 and $US15000 which suggests the usual Australian market price-gouging is going on). Despite that Microsoft anticipates selling several hundred of the devices in the local market over the next year; ANZ Curtin University and Lonely Planet have already signed up to roll out applications using the device.